Although they were formed in 1896, Crawley have only been a league club since their promotion as Conference Champions at the end of the 2010/11 season.
They were promoted to League One a year later and spent three seasons at that level before dropping back into League Two in 2015, where they have remained ever since.
Crawley Town finished 12th in last season’s League Two league table, with 61 points from their 46 league games. Home form was decent, with ten wins, six defeats and seven losses but their points total left them 12 points from a play off place.
The first meeting between the sides came on 3rd September 2011 when we were stuffed 4-1 at what was then known as the Broadfield Stadium; it’s now the People’s Pension Stadium with a capacity of 6,134.
The sides have met only three times since in the league, and the overall record stands at one win for Rovers, one draw and two wins for Crawley.
The four FA Cup ties have ended in two wins for Rovers and there have been two draws, while Rovers have won the only EFL Trophy tie between the clubs.
(photo courtesy of Neil Brookman)
For me, the FA Cup ties at Crawley stay in the memory, particularly in 2013/14. Having played out a goalless draw in the second round tie at the Memorial Stadium in December 2013, Rovers travelled to Crawley for the replay on a wet Wednesday night.
Referee Stuart Atwell allowed the game to begin, even though the pitch soon became a huge lake. In the 74th minute the match official decided, correctly, I think, to abandon the game and we all had to go to Crawley again on 8th January 2014. The second round replay was, I believe, played on the day of the third round and Rovers were 2-1 winners to set up an away tie against Birmingham City in round three.
The FA Cup replay against Crawley in December 2013. Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman.
A first round tie at Crawley in November 2016 also ended all square, 1-1 on this occasion. Rovers won the replay at The Mem but not as comfortably as the 4-2 scoreline suggests because the game was only settled in extra time.
Last season three former Rovers players, Tony Craig, Tom Nichols and Sam Matthews, turned out for Crawley and Nichols scored 15 goals in 46 games in all competitions, a total that included an FA Cup hat trick in a remarkable 6-5 win against Torquay United.
Others to have played for both sides include; John Akinde, Kyle Bennett, Hiram Boateng, Andy Bond, Mustapha Carayol, Chris Carruthers, Scott Davies, Lyle Della-Verde, Rory Fallon, Matt Harrold, Paul Raynor, Scott Rendell, Scott Shearer, Callum Willock, Dwayne Plummer, Jeffrey Monakana, Jefferson Louis and Michel Kuipers.
As well as playing for both clubs, Matt Harrold was installed as caretaker manager of Crawley for their final game of the 2016/17 season, a game they drew 2-2 against Mansfield Town.
It’s 142 miles from the Mem to Crawley’s ground.